Thursday, September 11, 2008

Starstruck

I'm in New York City for work today and tomorrow. I got in relatively late last night, went to my hotel and crashed. (Okay, not exactly. For some reason, I stayed up to watch the Governor of Alaska return home and give a speech I've more or less heard before. But I digress.)

When I left our New York office and walked back to my hotel, I realized that I had no idea what room I was in. I walked to reception desk and said to the clerk, "I can't be the only idiot who comes in here and realizes he doesn't know what room he's in, right?" He assured me, that no, I was not the only such idiot. "If I had a dollar for every time someone had asked me to tell him his own room number, I wouldn't be working here anymore."

So I get my room number and walk over to the elevator bank to go to my room. Now, there are two ways into the elevator banks, one from the lobby and one from the hotel bar. I walk from the lobby to my elevator bank, press the button, and wait. As I'm standing there, I hear this little smattering of applause coming from the bar. I figure there are few people watching a football game or something.

Then about ten feet away, I see this relatively short, white-haired guy in a suit walking through the bar, past my elevator bank, followed by a taller blonde woman. And I do a double-take.

It's John and Cindy McCain.

Before I've even processed this, they're past me. In a bit of a fog, I start walking that direction, hoping I could say something to Senator McCain. But by the time I get into the bar, I realize they're surrounded by secret service agents, several of whom are giving me strange looks. I figure it's better not to try to get by them, so I just stand there and watch John and Cindy McCain walk to a separate elevator bank and disappear. A few seconds later, I hear a secret service agent say something like "they're secure," and they were gone.

Naturally, I went immediately upstairs to tell Lauren.

Now, this is certainly not the first time I've seen a Senator (or presidential candidate). Living in Washington, I've seen quite a few. Heck, I've even been to the White House a couple of times. But somehow, I feel a little starstruck by happening upon John and Cindy McCain so unexpectedly in New York City. I almost feel like Binx Bolling spying William Holden on the streets of New Orleans.

Maybe this is just a side effect of thinking, for the first time, that McCain can actually win this thing. If I hadn't been so stupidly starstruck, maybe I could have told him so and wished him good luck.